Ministry of Transport Road Maps
The Ministry of Transport Road Map series (generally known as "MOT Maps" to Sabristo) was published by the Ordnance Survey on behalf of the MOT in order to document the initial allocation of road numbers and subsequent changes.
Along with List of class I and class II roads and numbers, it is the definitive source of any classified road between 1923 and 1932, including hundreds of roads that no longer existed by 1932, let alone the more widely available New Popular Edition maps of the 1940s and beyond.
Loads of them are now available on SABRE Maps, including a full set of the 1922-23 editions.
Text on Inner Flap
This series of Maps is issued with the object of publishing for general information the results of the Classification of Roads in Great Britain carried out by the Minister of Transport under Section 17(2) of the Ministry of Transport Act, 1919, and of indicating the details of the Route Numbering Scheme adopted by the Ministry. It is hoped that the information given upon these maps will prove of service to road users generally.
Classification of Roads The roads of Great Britain have been divided into three groups :
- Class I
- Class I
- All Other Roads
Route Numbers In connection with the classification of roads, a scheme of numbering has been adopted, by which each road in Classes I, and II, is distinguished by an individual number. These identification numbers are already being shown on direction posts in various part of the country.
Brief Explanation of Maps and Numbering Scheme On the maps CLASS I, roads and their numbers are distinguished by being coloured red. On sign-posts, however, Class I roads will be indicated by the letter "A" used as a prefix to the road numbers, eg: A.28, A.6070.
Similarly, roads in CLASS II, and their numbers are indicated upon the maps in green, but will be shown upon sign-posts with the prefix B eg: B.375, B.851
OTHER roads have not been numbered.
Great Britain has been divided into nine sectors or zones bounded by nine trunk roads, six of which radiate in clockwise order from London, and the remaining three similarly from Edinburgh. The roads in question are:
- A.1 : London - Edinburgh
- A.2 : London - Dover
- A.3 : London - Portsmouth
- A.4 : London - Bath
- A.5 : London - Holyhead
- A.6 : London - Carlisle
- A.7 : Edinburgh - Carlisle
- A.8 : Edinburgh - Glasgow - Gourock
- A.9 : Edinburgh - Perth - Inverness
Each Zone bears the number of the road bounding it upon the left (facing outwards from the centre) eg: Zone 3 is the area between Road A.3 and Road A.4; Zone 6 is the area bounded by Roads A.6, A.1 and A.7; and Zone 7 is bounded by Roads A.7 and A.8
Again working clockwise, each road commencing in any particular zone is given a number beginning with that zone numeral, and retains this number throughout its entire length irrespective of the zone in which it terminates. Thus, a traveller finding himself upon Road A.46 in Zone 1 near Grimsby is at once aware that the road originates in the South-West in Zone 4.
Examples A.272 commences in Zone 2 at Blackboys, and although crossing into, and terminating in Zone 3 at Winchester, retains its original number throughout.
Other examples are :-
- A.38 : Plymouth - Derby
- A.47 : Birmingham - Yarmouth
- A.57 : Liverpool - Sheffield - Lincoln
- A.63 : Leeds - Hull
- A.73 : Lanark - Airdrie - Cumbernauld
- A.85 : Oban - Glenorchy - Crieff - Perth - Dundee
The same procedure is followed with regard to Class II roads with the exception that the numbers from B.1 to B.99 inclusive have not been used.
List giving the numbers of all Class I and Class II roads, arranged in serial order, are also published, and may be purchased directly from H.M. Stationery Office and from all Agents for the sale of Ordnance Survey Maps.
Archives with Copies
- The National Archives have Sheet 33 (Salisbury and Winchester), 1922/23 revision - by accident. (See MT 39/246).
- The London Metropolitan Archives have Sheet 34 (London), 1922/23 revision (Link)
- The British Library have all sheets, 1922/23 revision as library deposit copies. (England), (Scotland). Unfortunately, they have all been dissected for folding which makes getting good quality A0 scans impossible.
- The National Library of Scotland have flat copies of all sheets, 1922/23 revision, and England & Wales Sheet 1 and 2, 1928/29 revision. These can be scanned for £10 + VAT each for private research purposes.
- Archifdy Ceredigon (Cardigan Archives) have several sheets, 1922/23 revision, mostly of North England (Link)
People with Copies
Ritchie Swann has the following :
|1||Jedburgh, Berwick-upon-Tweed and Edinburgh||1922-23||Paper|
|2||Carlisle||1922/23||A4 library dissected|
|5||Lake District||1922/23||A4 library dissected|
|6||Richmond, Middlesbrough and Ripon||1922/23||A4 library dissected|
|8||Lancaster, Southport and Preston||1922/23||A4 library dissected|
|11||Carnarvon (sic), Bangor and Conwy||1922/23||cloth dissected|
|15||Aberystwyth and Barmouth||1922/23||A4 library dissected|
|18||Peterborough and Boston||1922/23||A4 library dissected|
|21||Brecon, Aberystwyth and Lampeter||1922/23||A4 library dissected|
|24||Oxford and Swindon||1922/23||paper|
|25||Bury St Edmunds and Ipswich||1927/28||cloth, currently with Steven Jukes|
|27||Gloucester, Monmouth and Newport||1922/23||A4 library dissected|
|28||Oxford and Swindon||1922/23||paper|
|29||North London, St Albans and Hertford||1922/23||A4 library dissected|
|29||North London, St Albans and Hertford||1926/27||paper|
|30||Colchester||1927/28 (with hand bodges)||cloth|
|31||Bideford and Taunton||1922/23||paper|
|32||Bristol and Cardiff||1922/23||cloth|
|32||Bristol and Cardiff||1926/27||cloth|
|33||Salisbury, Winchester and Reading||1926/27||cloth dissected|
|34||London||1922/23||A4 library dissected|
|35||Southwest Cornwall and Scilly Isles||1922/23||cloth|
|37||Weymouth, Yeovil and Taunton||1922/23||paper|
|38||Southampton, Portsmouth and Isle of Wight||1922/23||cloth|
|40||Chatham, Margate and Hastings||1922/23||paper|
Steven Jukes has:
|7||Whitby & Scarborough||1922-23||Paper|
|7||Whitby & Scarborough||1927-28||Dissected cloth, currently with Ritchie Swann|
|12||Manchester & Liverpool||1922-23||Paper, currently with Ritchie Swann|
|14||Lincoln & Grimsby||1927-28||Dissected cloth|
|16||Wrexham, Shrewsbury & Hanley||1922-23||Cloth|
|16||Wrexham, Shrewsbury & Hanley||1926-27||Library edition|
|17||Derby, Nottingham & Leicester||1922-23||Paper|
|17||Derby, Nottingham & Leicester||1924-25||Library edition|
|22||Worcester & Ludlow||1924-25||Library edition|
|23||Birmingham, Leamington & Northampton||1922-23||Paper, folded awkwardly, no cover|
|23||Birmingham, Leamington & Northampton||1926-27||Library edition|
|24||Bedford & Cambridge||1922-23||Dissected, no cover|
|30||Colchester||1922-23||Dissected, poor condition|
|31||Bideford, Ilfracombe & Tiverton||1927-28||Dissected cloth|
|36||Plymouth, Torquay & Exeter||1922-23||Cloth|
|36||Plymouth, Torquay & Exeter||1927-28||Dissected cloth|
|37||Weymouth, Yeovil & Taunton||1927-28||Dissected cloth|
|38||Southampton, Portsmouth & IOW||1922-23||Cloth, no cover|
|40||Chatham, Margate & Hastings||1925-26||Cloth, poor cover|